Charles River Raises A $375M Fifteenth Fund For Early Stage Investing


Charles River Ventures said Tuesday it raised a $375 million fifteenth venture-capital fund that will allow it to continue making early-stage, technology-focus investments.

The firm closed the over subscribed fund in just two months drawing largely from existing LPs, marking it as a survivor in a consolidating industry.

“We were fortunate,” says General Partner Izhar Armony. “There was a lot of demand.”

The fund, CRP XV, had an initial target of $300 million and is slightly larger than its $320 million predecessor. Partners put a cap in place at $375 million to maintain a commitment to “small and focused” funds, according to a press release.

It will be managed by Charles River’s six investment partners with no plans for an addition to the team. The fund’s information technology focus will be equally divided between consumer Web and mobility companies, and startups pursuing opportunities in infrastructure. Investments also will target some energy and intellectual-property opportunities. Charles River is expected to begin investing from it by midyear.

The firm invited a couple of new limited partners to participate in the fund, but received more than enough interest from exiting backers. Charles River reports it has had consistent liquidity from portfolio companies during the past decade, including 21 major exits. Recent IPOs include those by RPX, Broadsoft and The Active Network. Millennial Media is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Recent acquisitions include BNI Video, which Cisco Systems purchased, and Vlingo, which has a pending deal with Nuance Communications.

The firm’s present investing partners are Armony, Jon Auerbach, Saar Gur, Bruce Sachs, Devdutt Yellurkar and George Zachary.

Last year, 169 venture funds raised $18.2 billion, an increase of 32%. But only 169 funds attracted the money, the same number as in 2010.

It is a sign the industry is continuing to consolidate, National Venture Capital Association President Mark Heesen said last month.

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